Let’s look at the highly commented upon post ‘Sack this!’.
(NOTE: To my understanding, the term ‘fenqing’ is mostly used as a type of internet slang, meaning something to the point of ‘angry young man’, and tends to be used to describe a Chinese youth that appears very nationalistic.)
The post then goes on to comment upon how at the time of the looting, China was ruled by the Manchu, and that the fountain itself had indeed been built one of these “foreign invaders”, that the European powers did “terribly brutal, oppressive and manipulative things” during their time of colonial expansionism, and that he believes that the fountain heads should be returned to China based upon moral grounds.
From this post alone, it can be seen how the looting of Yuanmingyuan is a highly contentious issue amongst the Chinese public, which gets brought up at times as an inspiration for a sense of nationalistic righteousness.
But what I find more fascinating, in this case, is the comment section. With 66 comments, of various lengths and various commentators involved, it makes for an interesting read. Seeing how there are so many comments (and that so many of them are quite long), I will not be going into detail about all the relevant comments, however have instead picked out a few that I found to be particularly intriguing.
These comments are very general – ‘How would you feel if it was you?’; ‘You can’t deny the facts!’ , but they appear to inspire the heated discussion that follows, the main instigators of which being ‘From Toronto‘ and the aforementioned ‘warped0ne‘, as well as the post author, ‘Ryan‘. It is also interesting to note that it was one of ‘From Toronto‘s comments that originally inspired the blog post.
Here we see the author strongly asserting that he does not agree that China does not have an inherent right to possess the statues, given two points:
1. The Statues were of Manchurian origin, not Chinese, and that
2. Too much time and history has passed for the claims to stand.
Here, ‘Curator’ puts forth another perspective, and uses Russia as a contemporary comparison. They suggest that China is, essentially, making up a fuss about something when other countries have already moved on from similar situations, and that the continued highlighting of the incident may indeed end up hurting China in the long run. Other commentators also take up a comparative viewpoint, drawing attention to similarities between this and other situations.
I found this particular response to ‘From Toronto’ to be particularly relevant as it expresses yet another perspective. That the stealing of the zodiac heads is not something to be taken lightly, and as such should not be used as a basis for comparison for things that are not related to it, and that in a debate about the Intellectual Property Rights of DVD’s, it should not be brought up at all.
Another interesting point is that the next time ‘From Toronto comments, they do not directly reply to ‘Zhou’, but instead say this:
I would like to draw your attention to the final sentence, where after passionately engaging in discussion over the comparison between the looting of the 12 Zodiac heads and DVD piracy, ‘From Toronto’ then suggests that no further commentary should be made as it will “distract China’s [effort] to feed the poor.”
I leave you with the final comment on the blog. What are your thoughts and opinions?